The Ulster Cup was an annual football competition held by the Irish Football League for senior clubs.

HistoryEdit

Beginning in 1949, it was held on fifty-one occasions until being suspended after the 1998/99 season and discontinued after a one-off re-appearance in 2002/03. The last three editions were only open to First Division sides. From the mid-1980s to the early-1990s the competition was known as the Lombard Ulster Cup due to a sponsorship deal with the Lombard & Ulster Bank. It had previously been sponsored by Morans.

FormatEdit

The format of the Ulster Cup varied from season to season. It often employed a league format, with each club playing each other once and the winner declared as the team with the most points; and sometimes a group basis, with the winners decided by a play-off.

The format over the years was as follows:

Years No. of seasons Format
1948–1951 and 1952–56 7 group system plus final
1956–1957 1 league
1957–1965 8 group system plus final
1965–1983 18 league
1983–1996 16 group system plus final
1996–1997 1 knock-out
1997–1999 and 2002–03 3 league (First Division clubs only)

List of winnersEdit

Winners of the Ulster Cup by season[1]

Performance by clubEdit

SeniorEdit

Club Winners Winning years
Linfield 15 1948–49, 1955–56, 1956–57, 1959–60, 1961–62, 1964–65, 1967–68, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1974–75, 1977–78, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1984–85, 1992–93
Glentoran 9 1950–51, 1952–53, 1966–67, 1976–77, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1988–89, 1989–90
Coleraine 8 1965–66, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1972–73, 1975–76, 1985–86, 1986–87, 1996–97
Ballymena United 3 1951–52, 1960–61, 1980–81
Crusaders 3 1953–54, 1963–64, 1993–94
Glenavon 3 1954–55, 1958–59, 1962–63
Larne 2 1949–50, 1987–88
Bangor 2 1991–92, 1994–95
Portadown 2 1990–91, 1995–96
Ards 1 1973–74
Distillery 1 1957–58

First Division onlyEdit

Club Winners Winning years
Ballyclare Comrades 1 1997–98
Distillery 1 1998–99
Dungannon Swifts 1 2002–03

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The tournament was renamed the Festival of Britain Cup for 1951–52.
  2. ^ a b c The last three editions were open to First Division sides only.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Belfast Telegraph Northern Ireland Soccer Yearbook 1999/2000" Ed. Dr. Malcolm Brodie MBE

External linksEdit